Make Your Online Interview A Doddle

by | 24.06.21

Make your online interview a doddle

Remote interviews are becoming more and more prevalent, especially at the moment during the Covid pandemic. They are different from regular face to face, on-site interviews which is what you probably always had in the past. As the title suggest remote interviews are conducted without you and the potential employer meeting physically. They happen via Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or a similar online meeting forum. It is absolutely essential that you take practical steps to ensure yours is a success. Here are some tips:

Look at your interview technique

When you find yourself on the job market, before you start your search for a role review your interview technique. It may be a long time since you last looked for a new position and believe me things have changed. You need to be even more slick, quick and smart to get a job offer than ever before. An employer is not just looking at your skills and experience, they are looking at you. Will you fit into the company? My advice to you is to always be yourself in an interview situation. You will need to promote your skills and experience to show you are the right person for the role but don’t try to change your personality. You are what you are. If you are nervous tell the interviewer that is okay. One good tip though is to smile a lot – no-one wants a misery working in their office.

Have the right tools

Employers are using Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or even Google Meets. Make sure you have the right App and that you have practiced using it. This might seem obvious but you would be surprised how many people we talk too remotely on a daily basis who struggle using the system. This is simply because it’s new to them and whilst we are prepared to talk candidates through the process of operation employers aren’t, so you must have the right tools and be able to work them.

Remote interview etiquette

Even though a remote interview is different from a face to face interview in some ways, it’s actually not really different at all. It will be no less professional than if you were to meet the interviewer in an office. So here are the rules, dress as if you were going for a normal interview, conduct the interview in a quiet place do not have anyone else in the room with you – not even the dog. Make sure you surroundings are clean and tidy – no big piles of washing – keep your background neutral and as business like as possible. Listen more carefully than you would in a face to face interview – it’s easy to talk over someone during a remote interview. Finally prevent any last minute faff, make sure you set up correctly, have a test run to make sure everything works for you.

Do not be late

When it comes to jobs interviews, if you’re not early- you’re late. This is a doubly true for a remote interview. Be online a few minutes early and you won’t have to worry about last-minute technical difficulties derailing your effort. There’s nothing worse than starting a job interview stressed out and distracted.

Have everything you need around you

Once you are seated in front of your computer you should be able to reach everything you need to carry out a successful interview. Make sure you have all your interview materials. ie: Your CV, the job description, a crib sheet listing optional questions at the end of the interview and just to be on the safe side a tissue. Although you shouldn’t ever eat or drink during an online interview it’s also a good idea to have a glass of water handy just in case you need it. Interview nerves can cause you to have a dry month!

Choose the right outfit

It is really important that you look professional, business attire or business casual attire is the best bet for job interviews. Try to line up what you are wearing with the culture of the company as you understand it, but do dress up a bit, even if the employer is super casual. Remember that whatever you choose should show well on camera as well as being professional. Avoid stripes, extremely bright colours or wearing the same shirt as your background – you don’t want to blend in do you!

Watch your body language

Perhaps the worse online interview mistakes you can make is to indicate through your behaviour and mannerisms that you’re not interested in what the interviewer is saying. Unfortunately this is easier to do than you might think. Little gestures can make a big impact. Fidgeting with your hair or clothes, checking your phone – yes even off screen – or staring at yourself instead of connecting with the interviewer. All of these can make it seem like you’re disconnected or distracted.

Make sure you have a real conversation

Even when they’re conducted in person, job interviews can feel like an interrogation. The interviewer asks questions – you answer them. You ask questions – the interviewer answers them. Rinse, repeat. Video technology can exacerbate this problem by shrinking your visual field down to two screens and ratching up the tension with the threat of technical difficulties to overcome these issues remind yourself that a good job interview is a conversation – no more and no less. You and the interviewer are not opposing sides, but on the same team, working together towards a common goal. They have a job they want to fill and you are looking for a job to settle into.

So to summarise practice makes perfect. This may not always be the case but if you take the time to ensure you’re prepared and technology is working properly the interview will be much less stressful. Don’t wait until the last minute to set up your interview save, clear away the clutter and get your interview clothes ready. It can be hard when you’re interviewing remotely, so remember to listen carefully to questions and focus on your interview. Online interviews are with us to stay – they are not going away – so make sure you perfect your style.

Good Luck

Angela Burton